DOI: 10.5553/IISL/2020063002009

International Institute of Space LawAccess_open

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Possible Futures for Local and International Law Applicable to the Governance of Moon Settlements as the Basis of a Settlement Strategy

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    The stage has been set for humankind’s return to the Moon. This time, however, the purpose is different as the objective has been set for a permanent presence as opposed to the historic exploratory and scientific missions. A permanent presence may result in an intention that is more than purely scientific and thus conduct different from that of the historical missions. While international space law does in broad terms regulate human conduct on celestial bodies like the Moon, there have been differing interpretations of the types of conduct sanctioned by the law. There are of course also activities that might take place in breach of the law with total disregard of any international order. Irrespective of what may unfold in the future, states and other space actors that intend to participate in any Moon settlement will have to prepare themselves strategically for varying degrees of uncertainty and unfolding futures to ensure a state of situational readiness in the settlement process. This work endeavours to showcase the strength of futures methodologies to establish a range of possible futures that can inform the future status of the legal governance system applicable to the Moon landscape. This in turn can serve as the basis from which strategy can be devised that could contribute to a successful settlement mission irrespective of the unfolding future.

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